Last night provided one of the best starts to a college basketball season I can remember. The night started with a great upset by UConn over Michigan State to usher in the Kevin Ollie era. That game was followed up by a surprisingly good one between Kentucky’s new crop of freshmen and a Maryland squad missing the leading scoring in the ACC from a year ago Terell Stoglin (Stoglin declared for the NBA draft after being ruled ineligible for this season and went undrafted.) The night also featured #22 ranked Florida State being upset by South Alabama after Florida State committed on foul during a 3 point attempt with 25 seconds to play in a tie game.
Aside from all these great games the start of the college basketball season taught us all one very important lesson: don’t play basketball on boats. Of the 3 games scheduled to be played on aircraft carriers last night one was postponed (Syracuse/San Diego St) one was canceled (Ohio St/Marquette) and one was called at half time due to wet floor conditions (Florida/Georgetown). While I understand it is Veterans Day weekend and the purpose of these games was to honor the military, it’s not like these people can’t get off the boats. It seems like hosting the game at some nearby indoor facility and giving members of the military free admission may have been a better way to honor the troops. While I’m still hoping the Syracuse game happens tomorrow, I think it may be time to put the concept of basketball on aircraft carriers to bed. (As a side note as a Syracuse fan if one of the player’s is injured due to a wet court basketball on aircraft carriers will officially become the worst idea ever).
The other big story in college basketball yesterday was UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad being ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Following a lengthy investigation the NCAA determined Muhammad accepted travel and lodging for recruiting trips to Duke and North Carolina, violating the NCAA’s amateurism policy. (This was much to the chagrin of Flea and his home-made ‘free Shabazz Muhammad t-shirt:
It has not yet been announced how many games Muhammad is expected to miss, but this is sure to spark another round of criticism of the NCAA and it’s rules enforcement, and restart the discussion on if student athletes should be paid. On this subject I tend to fall in line with Jay Bilas, this morning he tweeted, “UCLA AD calls NCAA ruling on Muhammad eligibility “incorrect” and “unjust.” Reason for ineligibility? He visited colleges. The horror.” The NCAA actions against athletes for these minor infractions will most likely lead to more players deciding to play abroad for a season (such as Brandon Jennings or Jeremy Tyler) rather than deal with the NCAA’s hypocrisy.
Finally in a story that got slightly less media attention yesterday, federal authorities have dropped their investigation into the Bernie Fine scandal. This would seem to end the longest, most bizarre story involving the team in my time as a Syracuse fan. My feelings on the situation are that Fine most likely did have inappropriate contact with his original accusers Bobby Davis and Mike Lang. Fine’s third accuser, Zachary Tomaselli, a convicted child molester himself, has been shown to be a liar. While whatever happened to Davis and Lang as teenagers is certainly tragic, their continued contact with Fine and his wife and the stories surrounding it are extremely bizarre. Here is to hoping that with the closing of this federal investigation Syracuse basketball, and all people involved can begin to try to move on from these very unfortunate events. (Here is a link to Syracuse.com’s collection of stories on the Bernie Fine scandal).
Originally I had planned to post The 25 Greatest Seinfeld Episodes of All Time today, unfortunately I ended up with a post about nothing (literally nothing no words were coming). So you got this instead, feel free to give me any feed back on this post or any of my other’s or on any topics you feel I should post about in the future.